Day 2. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, and myself. April 2nd.

Day Two

JL2 Boats

-John Law



-Kerfe Roig


-Jane Cornwell


I mean how do we balance at all
At centre you carry the weight / I don’t mean
a heart but yes chambers liquid
with iron / I don’t mean blood I mean
restless and betrayed only by being
magnetic / your core invisible
to something on the surface
otherwise / I mean a heart is a constant kind
of collision / I mean momentum
dizzies us / sure as a slow leak
in the moon. I mean we tide.
I mean our being off-
balance has flow-
on effects. I don’t mean
to be dense / I mean if your heart
was different this whole life thing
would collapse. I mean fragile.
I mean, it is.

-Ankh Spice

A Dirge For The Drowned

(JC2 and Boats, JL2)

In the gray dawn light
A floating sound
Coming from the fishermen’s bight
A dirge for the drowned

A floating sound
Washing over the seashore
A dirge for the drowned
For love lost forevermore

Washing over the seashore
Like swashes of tears
For love lost forevermore
Grief echoing over the pier

Like swashes of tears
Coming from the fishermen’s bight
Grief echoing over the pier
In the gray dawn light


In response to JC2,
JL2 Boats, KR2_alterations

Standing in the the morning light
She plays soulful notes
The gulls cry
Each playing their part

A creation cycle of call and response
Brings into being an amorphous mass
Changing shapes and identities
Until the right one comes along

And just fits

The music continues
Boats rock gently in the swell
Adding base notes and counterpoint harmonies
Firming intention and desires

Until they just fit

-Anne Arbuthnot

I dreamt there was a moon

Such a moon as this
a desert of red-gold sand

how the light
like water leaking from lunar holes

and then the earth
our tender blue
that fills fuller of creeping blackness
with each sun.

Moon reflects light not rottenness
corruption at the flawed heart
or diseased skin

cloaks us in borrowed heroism
as we wade through choking seas
reaching for the stars.

-Jane Dougherty

La Luna

The moon is melting, slowly losing layers
of ancient skin, that peel and drip away.
The moon is boiling where dark forces flay
it’s surface, set the satellite ablaze.

The moon is burning, smoke plumes into space –
Now blood is oozing from its screaming eyes,
its dark side now exposed, an end of days
and there’s no mirage of a human face.

They say the moon is made of solid rock
that cannot burn; not able to weep blood
or cry, or vanish, turn the world to black.
And people all around me pay no heed,

it’s me they seem to fear, their faces turn –
am I the only one who sees it burn?

-Tim Fellows

Shelley Addicts’ Summer Seamanship

(Inspired by John Law’s 2nd Painting – Boats)

I murmur to my consort,
Shelley watches our sailboat;
I’ve been plagued by him – drowned and afloat
near our summer seamanship,
and by silence of insects of the anchorage.

Sundown issues its peace troop
in the pasty firmament.
My wife rocks the boat. From the gunwale
Shelley’s Collected Works slips into nothing.
Nothing is permanent.

I lose the stirring silhouette
of this rented boat to the darkness,
a Glencairn filled with Redbreast
to the thirst.

I lie supine beside my wife.
Insects flare fake SOS all around us –
Help! Those two are sinking,
choking inside someone else’s lives!

-Kushal Poddar

The song of the strings

(JC2 and JL2)

the song of the strings brought me to this sticking point
where neither fore nor back is plausible
I sailed I reeled I keeled on the rocky shore
my eyes charmed fast shut
my mind blinded to the future

and still the song continued
as the sun spun round and rose and fell
at the end of the day or perhaps at the onset
I lay exhausted, spent
the song of the strings became me

-Simon Williams

Responding to JL2 Boats

The Boat

Tourists gone, summer a lingering whisper
a gilded shimmer, gold on blue.

Now the geese fly south
through feathery clouds, dark shapes on the water,
like dreams, they vanish

in the morning breeze, colder than it was yesterday.
I’ll take the boat out today. There will be rainbows in the spindrift,
and laughter in the gulls’ cries,

and I’ll laugh, too, remembering,
the sunglow on your hair, the warmth in your kisses.

-Merril D Smith

Our Specularities

Our specularities slide over surfaces,
change shape whenever the object, viewer
or environment moves. She traces
barefoot the gulls call, surf fall, renewer,

her violin plays with apparitions,
extemporises bird call on wave collapse
rhythm and roll, invites all reflections
in mirror-like water, docked boats, perhaps

a looking-glass where things are reverses:
Reflections all invites, roll and rhythm
collapse wave on call bird extemporises.
A nonsense world or another wisdom.

We move when age, experience, always,
sometimes unaware, how we see past days.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-John Law

“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is:

-Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs,  (which she does with her friend Nina), and, and see more of her work on her website

-Tim Fellows

 is a poet and writer from Chesterfield whose poetry is heavily influenced by his background in the Derbyshire coalfields – family, mining, politics, and that mix of industry and countryside that so many mining areas had. People can email me at for a copy of the pamphlet or visit for recent poems

-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

is a writer based in Bangalore, India. His books include the novella Strength Of Water (2019) and the poetry collection Broken Cup (2020). He used to write horror, but now it’s anyone’s guess. 

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal 2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer. Educational Consultant by Profession.Published http://Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) 7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2019.

-Jane Dougherty

writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog


RedCat’s love for music and dance sings clearly in The Poet’s Symphony (Raw Earth Ink, 2020). Passion for rhythms and rhymes, syllabic feets and metres. All born out of childhood and adolescence spent reading, singing, dancing and acting.

Her writing spans love, life, mythology, environment, depression and surviving trauma.

Originally from the deep woods, this fiery redhead now makes home in Stockholm, Sweden, where you might normally run into her dancing the night away in one of the city’s techno clubs.


-Merril D Smith

is a historian and poet. She lives in southern New Jersey, where she is inspired by her walks along the Delaware River. She’s the author of several books on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fevers of the Mind.

-Tony Walker

By day Tony climbs the greasy pole of clinical hierarchy. Not yet at the top but high enough to feel the pole sway and have his grip challenged by the envious wind of achievement. Looking down on the pates and gazes of his own history, at times he feels dizzy with lonely pride. By night he takes solace, swapping scalpel for scripts and begins his training and climbing again, in the creative world of writing. His writing is an attempt to unify the twenty-four hours. @surgicalscribe seeks to connect the clinical and creative arts of surgery, science and writing. Hoping to do for medicine and surgery through creative writing what Prof Cox has done for physics with television.

So, he practices his art.

-Simon Williams

lives and works in Edinburgh, where running clears his head and creates space for ideas. He publishes short stories and poems on

-Anne Arbuthnot

  • Poet, Writer, Author, Small Press Publisher/Editor, Mentor/Tutor/Coach
  • Living a rural life, inspired and surrounded by nature, pondering and writing about life’s many puzzles and complexities, a gentle activist.
  • 2008 – current Mansfield A&P Show poetry judge
  • 2010 Hay Festival Most Beautiful Tweet shortlist
  • 2018 Mansfield Haiku on the Footpath competition winner
  • 2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Poetry Award winner “Musing in the time of Covid”
  • 2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Chapbook contributor
  • Links

  • Twitter @gentleanne
  • -Ankh Spice

    is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa. His work has been widely published internationally, in print and online, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press and a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine. You’ll find him and a lot of sea photography on Twitter @SeaGoatScreams or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.

    Paul Brookes

    Paul is a shop assistant, who lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His first play was performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms  (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions and his family history articles have appeared in The Liverpool Family History magazine.

    4 thoughts on “Day 2. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, and myself. April 2nd.

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